Thursday, 11 July 2013

Throwback Thursday: Workin' Girls

O hey there, blog! Sorry we've been neglecting you this week. We've just been so busy with our best friends' wedding, a trip away, Sarah's birthday week - but more on that later. Once its all over and we're settled into the third week of July you'd better believe we'll be writing the heck out of that shizzle.

But for now, we're taking a little time out of Sarah's last week as a 29 year old to throw down some Throwback Thursday - this week, our first jobs.

My first job was after I decided university wasn't for me, packed up and came home to save up to move to England. At 18 years old. As you do. It was at the Hampton Inn in Boise at the airport, totes glam. I was good at being the receptionist, and often did night audit, which was the shift from like 9pm to 7am. I liked it because in between all this 'working' business, I could watch internet TV and get up to mischief. The things I remember most about that job were that if the takings for the day didn't add up, I had to cross the street to ask the night audit guy at the next hotel for help - the same guy every night, in his 30s, smelled like Cheetos, and looked like he never got any sunlight. The other thing was breakfast - In the mornings, I had to set it up, which involved getting all these pre-frozen fried eggs out of the freezer to defrost them, or the big can of gravy I had to heat up with the biscuits - it was a gross sight and smell I'll probably never forget.

Anyway, after I left that job to go to my first 'proper' job, as a full time corporate receptionist, I came back for one epic night audit with my friend Kayla, who was definitely my favourite thing about working at the Hampton Inn. This night, was a night of legend. We made cookies in the oven - then ate them.

We sat in the giant towel dryers. Two of us fit in there at once!

We played in the lost and found, came out with the treasures of a book on Mormonism and a snorkeling set.

We threw TP down the laundry chute.

We even ended up seeing a tattoo that was on one of the cleaners's bums! (we didn't ask, it was not consensual, she just showed us and scarred our innocent eyes)

Obviously Kayla also did her job in this time, and no customers were in any way affected. When the morning shift person got in we were still giggling, and he ended up telling her manager that I was there - poor Kayla got in trouble - what a narc that guy was!

Anyway, it was still probably one of the more awesome things I've ever done, and Kayla moved onto a better job shortly after, so definitely worth it!

I've had quite a varied career thus far  including babysitter, childminding assistant, waitstaff, bartender, ride assistant at Legoland (personal fav), calendar buyer at WH Smiths (I literally picked pictures for calendars - loved it), delivery girl, cleaner, telesales person, labeller, grape picker, steward,  check out girl (loved that too), Event Sales person, training course sales person - anyway I first job was a Marks and Spencers, supermarket for those who've not been there! 

I deem M&S my first job as it was my first proper paid job, I started on the day I turned 16! My Mum worked at the same store in Reading town centre and had kindly arranged that the moment I became legal to obtain paid employment I did so. My first shift was 6 hours and it was mostly spent being taught how to fold clothes properly - creases and all, how to hang things correctly and how to work a till.

I worked on the ladies fashion department and loved almost every minute of it. Each hour you changed jobs so you either tidied the clothes, stood guard at the changing rooms or were on the till. Our shift was mapped out on a board and after signing in you met your manager at the 'station' for a uniform inspection and to find out where you were starting. Weirdly I liked the changing room so much I used to swap with people!

It was here at the changing rooms I made my friends - there were always two of us on the changing room and if the store wasn't packed it was a good time to talk. I met a girl called Emily who 10 years later I moved in with in London. We bonded over the fact that neither of us had ever broken a bone and we thought it would be fun to have crutches. Many a cloak room session was spent discussing potential ways we could inflict a broken leg: my favourite being we stand either end of the store and run full throttle with trollies/carts - not backing out until we hit each other. We decided against it as there were too many variables that could mean we end up bruised and battered and not broken!

Instead we agreed to get our belly buttons pierced - natural next step! Hey, we were 16. 

M&S was also where I was introduced to subsidised cafes and discounted food that staff could get. I used to go in on my days off just to stock up.

I loved the old ladies who wanted to mother me, I loved my Thursday night team who were all at Uni and were that much cooler than me, who was 16 and still at school, and I loved that they invited me to the bars. I loved Saturdays spent gossiping and I really didn't mind the work. A well folded display of jumpers was something to behold - and I would guard it if anyone tried to pick one up before I finished! I swear if Instagram was around back then, a fair few clothing photos would feature on our feed.

I very much miss the simpler days - turn up, do a good job, go home.

Throughout my first year at university I travelled back to do two weekends a month and any holidays - I even used to do extra Sundays as I got double time. After 3 years on ladies fashion I moved up to Childrenswear to help launch their David Beckham and Blues Clues range. It was a lot quieter and the changing room part of my shift involved holding babies rather than clothes and after the initial novelty wore off and the fact that the team was a lot smaller I handed my notice in. It meant I could start life as an ASDA checkout chick where I went to Uni and save on the travel but I was sad to leave. 

BTW, it's kind of annoying that it's so much easier for Laura to get photos, as Facebook was around during her first job! Mine are much more old school :)

1 comment:

  1. It is always awesome to hear the kinds of jobs people first did... Mine was calling people to do surveys... I did not like this job but I did it for about a year then I worked as a cashier at a grocery store and I loved that as I love to talk... :)

    I can't wait to hear about the birthday party :)


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